Essay On Elephants

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a platform at the park. They found that elephants were more likely to approach others and make contact with them when they were showing signs of distress in comparison to those exhibiting normal behaviors. This supports the fact that elephants are concerned with the emotional state of their conspecies. Post distress data was also taken, where the researchers observed individuals for ten minutes after displaying signs of distress. The results from the post distress data show that individuals attempted to reassure the distressed elephant by using a specific vocalization. They also concluded that the reassuring a distressed individual was contagious (multiple individuals approached the distressed subject). Soltis, Blowers, &Savage (2011) analyzed …show more content…
Research has indicated that elephants are capable of self-awareness, understanding and adapting to their environment, problem solving, cooperating with others, and feeling emotions. Through analyzing their brains, it has been found that they have the largest brain of any land animal. They also have specific areas of the brain that are much more developed than other animals that help with memory, sensory acuity, emotion, and learning (Shoshani et al., 206). However, there are weaknesses and limitations in this field of research. First, because it is difficult to study elephants in the wild most studies have been conducted in captive settings such as zoos or elephant sanctuaries. This may affect the results because elephants may behave differently in captivity than they would in the wild. For example, it is common that elephants undergo cruel treatments for the purpose of training in captive settings. It is possible that the cruel acts can influence how they perform in cognitive tests. Additionally, many subjects who participated in these studies have had previous training. It may be possible that researchers are observing a stimulus-response association instead of their natural cognitive behaviors. Another weakness in this field of research is sample size. In most studies, researchers are only able to observe a few subjects at a time. It would be beneficial to increase the sample size in order to support the idea that elephants are cognitively advanced. Lastly, there have been few studies conducted on elephants in general. For example, there has only been one mirror self-recognition study. Although the results showed that they were successful in the task, we cannot for sure conclude that they have self-awareness; more research is

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